Humans of TU Delft: Lucas Haag

Getting to the finals of the global GoFly competition takes a lot of hard work. Meet bachelor’s student Lucas Haag, who works behind the scenes of student team Silverwing.

Lucas Haag. (Photo: Heather Montague)

“Around October, just before one of my lectures, someone came to give a short pitch about Silverwing and I thought it was really cool. I had some spare time so I decided to give it a shot. I got an interview and that’s how I got involved.

It is a multidisciplinary team that includes the participation of students from five TU Delft faculties, two students from Utrecht and one person from TNO so it’s a real collaboration. I’m part of the group that is called Business and Partnerships, but I’m mainly responsible for partnerships. I handle the in-kind aspect of things. When our engineers need something like hardware or anything else, they contact me. There are also things like sometimes they need a team vehicle or cloud services and they contact me. I try to get what they need for free or for a discount.

On most days it feels like a normal job, you just go to the office and do normal things. But recently we had an event to launch the final design of the vehicle and everyone was really excited. You could see it on everybody’s faces. It felt really good to be a part of the team.

After winning the first two phases we are excited to be part of the top five best teams of the competition. Based on our experience building the half-scale prototype, which we won the second phase with, we are now manufacturing the full-scale one. We are planning to have it finished before the end of the academic year. However, there are some challenges to overcome. Developing the software which enables the prototype to transition from vertical to horizontal flight is one of them. At the final phase, which will be held in the US at the beginning of 2020, the smallest, quietest and fastest design will win. This means that every part of the vehicle has to be heavily inspected so that weight and noise production is minimised.

‘My studies are still my priority’

Being a part of Silverwing is a really exciting thing but my studies are still my priority. I have to balance things. I’m in my 2nd year of a bachelor’s in Technology, Policy and Management. I think I would like to go to Rotterdam to study econometrics at Erasmus when I’m finished here.

Even though I have a lot of projects to do within my studies, working on something like Silverwing requires a lot of teamwork because you are all working every day on the same project. It requires a lot of cooperation and good communication. Those things are really important and I think this experience has helped me improve a lot in those areas.

I think in comparison to other universities TU Delft is doing a really good job in this aspect. Trying to involve bachelor’s students in these kinds of projects adds a lot of value to your bachelor programme.”

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Heather Montague / Freelance writer

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